Last year, the Arizona Wildcats signed 3 frontcourt players ranked in the top 20 of the ESPN 100.
On Tuesday, the Arizona Wildcats struck again with a potential frontcourt star when forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif. / Archbishop Mitty) committed to play for Sean Miller over Kentucky, Washington and Oregon.
Gordon, who is the No. 2 power forward and No. 4 overall basketball hire in the Class of 2013, made the decision at a press conference in the McDonald’s All American Game media day. He said that he was close to deciding on Arizona Wildcats last fall but couldn’t come to a final conclusion.
“I hope to be the X-factor,” Gordon recounted of joining Arizona next season.
As a senior, Gordon averaged 21.6 points, 15.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.1 assists per game.
During the hiring process, there was attention on Arizona’s talented young frontcourt with freshmen Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley. Gordon, listed as a power forward, viewed Arizona as a location where the numbers would allow him to slide to the small forward spot. “What they have is a really, really loaded frontcourt, so that would make us so big, and they’ve a very experienced backcourt as well,” Gordon expounded. “They lose 3 of their seniors, 3 of their main scorers. Sean Miller’s a really good coach.
“I love it. I’m not trying to be conceited or cocky, but I’m not the type of player that can afford to be left on the bench. I’m not sure what especially I can do for you, but I’m going to produce numbers, points, and blocks. Having a big frontcourt, that would push me out (to the small forward position). I think I may be too big for 3s and 2s and too swiftly for 4s and 5s.”
The 6-foot-8 Gordon draws comparisons to a high school version of L.A. Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin. Gordon is among the strongest, most explosive forwards in the Class of 2013. He regularly impacts games and his motor runs at a high level. And with Arizona loaded at the 4 and 5 positions next year, he’ll presumably be able to spend a little time at the tiny forward slot as well.
Ranked 4th by ESPN in the 2013 recruiting class, only top overall recruit Andrew Wiggins is a bigger name yet to commit to a school.
Gordon joins 4-star guard Elliott Pitts and 5-star little forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in Miller’s 2013 recruiting class. He was presumed to have already committed to a coach prior to his formal statement, and many experts pegged the Wildcats as being the school of choice. Arizona at last won the recruitment of the high-motor, high-IQ big man because they sold him on development of wing skills that may make his jump to the NBA more successful. Basketball spreads
Gordon kept his remarks short and sweet in the press conference. When questioned what a successful season at Arizona would look like, he simply said “national championship.”